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Showing posts from February, 2014

Story telling through the iTunes Charts!

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Have you ever thought about why social media sites such as twitter are so popular and enjoyable? Why one of the quickest growing social media site is based on videos no longer than 6 seconds? One reason is because of the constraints they enforce. These constraints challenge us daily to be creative, experiment and play with language with amazing results. Most tweachers, without realising it, are constantly playing with words, phrases and sentences when constructing their tweets. One hundred and forty characters is sometimes not enough but that is the beauty of twitter, get your message across with that constraint. Sometimes I ask my children to do the same - sum up a book, evaluate a lesson/learning, tell me about your weekend in no more than 140 characters. It doesn't seem like much, but is a challenge that encourages children to think about language.

Sometimes less is more - take the wonderful 100 word challenge website. It is a perfect length to showcase writing but again provid…

Using Disney Films for Geography!

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Last week I came across a tweet sharing this picture:


I thought it would be a brilliant way for children to learn about the location of different countries around the world. 
Before we looked at the map, I asked the class to list as many animated Disney films (excluding Pixar) as they could think of. We shared some of our ideas and discussed the origins of some of these stories. Some were books, others fairy tales, legends or folk tales. 
This gave us a link with Literacy to discuss different types of stories, how most films are derived from written texts and also looking at some famous authors.
We also talked about whether they could remember where in the world the film was set. 
I then shared the map with the children and gave them time to look and see whether they knew any of the countries themselves. They had to make estimated guesses as to where they thought each film was set.

After they had had a go at trying the name all the countries, they then were able to choose from a few iPad…

Marius the Giraffe - A Tragic Story!

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I was shocked and appalled this week to read about poor Marius, the 2 year old Giraffe, who has been put down at Copenhagen Zoo.

For some links about the story -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26098935
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/giraffe-marius-killed-healthy-animal-3129390
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/528/607/193/save-marius-the-giraffe-from-the-bolt-gun-now/
http://www.fromestandard.co.uk/British-Irish-Association-Zoos-releases-statement/story-20598267-detail/story.html

I have had first hand experience of how powerful the internet can be to share children's writing and when linked to a real issue, the impact can be incredible. Read all about the work my class did based around the film Blackfish - Click here.

This is another issue where I feel, given the information, children can produce some thought provoking and passionate writing about a real issue.

Granted, it won't save poor Marius, who has now met his untimely death, but some of the children's wri…

Minecraft Maths

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It is a simple fact.... children LOVE Minecraft!

Knowing this fact, I have used the app to inspire some writing before Christmas - Read all about it here.
The potential with this app is amazing! It isn't the typical game, children can be as imaginative and creative as they can build pretty much anything.
When I originally wrote the first post about using Minecraft, I noted some ideas for how it can be used right across the curriculum. Using Padlet, I created this:

There are probably endless other activities that could be linked to the game. Today I used one idea from the Numeracy list, using the game to help develop children's understanding of Area and Perimeter. 


Minecraft allows children to build and construct pretty much anything by planting different types of cubes or blocks. I told the children that these cubes are 1cm x 1cm x 1cm. Using the blocks the children could create shapes. I asked them to create a range of squares and rectangles of different sizes. 

I then asked …